Fireworks shows, the quintessential way to celebrate the Fourth of July, will be back and booming this week.
While the pickings were slim last year, most Capital Region displays are a go this year, including New York State’s Fourth of July Celebration at Empire State Plaza. Perhaps the biggest show in the Capital Region, it typically brings in around 20,000 people.
“Last year many of our favorite annual events were canceled due to COVID, including the iconic Fourth of July fireworks displays at Jones Beach and Empire State Plaza,” said Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in a statement. “Thanks to the hard work and dedication of New Yorkers in beating back the virus, we are able to enjoy these summer traditions once again.”
Presented by Price Chopper/Market 32, it’s slated to feature live music starting at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday with a performance by Graham Tichy and the New Lowdown. The band offers up classic rock and roll songs of the 1950s and 1960s.
Then, at 7:45 p.m. the national anthem will be sung by Air National Guard Master Sargeant Samantha Marquette assigned to the 109th Airlift Wing at Stratton Air National Guard Base in Scotia. Following that, the Powerhouse Funk Band will take the stage.
There will also be a pop-up vaccination site running from 5:30-8 p.m. The fireworks from Santore’s World Famous Fireworks in Schaghticoke will begin around 9:15 p.m. Free parking is available starting at 5:30 p.m. in the visitor and “P” lots under the Empire State Plaza and the Grant and Elk Street lots.
The show will also go on at Brown’s Beach in Saratoga Springs on Saturday. The Town of Stillwater, which organizes the show, was one of the few local municipalities that held its annual fireworks display last year.
Fireworks begin between 9:15-9:30 p.m. Parking is limited and will be $5 per car. Town officials are encouraging attendees to carpool or take Uber/Lyft.
Further south, the Town of Clifton Park will hold its annual Fourth of July parade and fireworks show on Sunday. Last year, organizers were only able to hold a vehicle parade because of the pandemic but this year will look more like the traditional celebration.
“It’s exciting for us to be able to bring the event back,” said Myla Kramer, the director of the Parks and Recreation Department.
The parade kicks off at noon at the Shenendehowa main campus. It will head down Rt. 146 and onto Vischer Ferry Road and end at Clifton Common.
The festivities will continue there with an opening ceremony, following by activities and craft/food vendors. Live music from rock duo Sirsy starts at 5 p.m. Ten Most Wanted, a Saratoga Springs band mixing funk, soul and rock will perform from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. The fireworks display will begin shortly after that.
Not too far away, in Alplaus, the Fire Department is slated to host a weekend of family and neighborhood events. On Saturday, there will be an ecumenical church service at the Fire Department pavilion at 11 a.m., followed by a kids’ carnival from 3-5 p.m. Then, there will be an Alplaus neighborhood block party at 6 p.m. with music and food/beverages.
The Alplaus July Fourth parade starts at 11 a.m. on Sunday at Glencliff Elementary School, heading west on Alplaus Avenue to Belmont Avenue and then to South Avenue, followed by Mohawk Avenue and ending at the Alplaus Fire House on Alplaus Avenue. There will be an after-party with lunch and refreshments starting at 11:30 a.m.
After canceling last year because of the pandemic, the City of Amsterdam will host an Independence Day Fest on Thursday, July 1, at Riverlink Park. It kicks off at 6 p.m. with the X-Squad Water Ski Show, an Amsterdam-based group.
The Ill Funk Ensemble will take the stage around 7:30 p.m., presenting a mix of hip-hop, neo-soul, rhythm and blues and rock. Fireworks are slated to start around 9:30 p.m.
“We haven’t had fireworks since COVID so we’re going to end the night with a huge fireworks display!” organizers posted on Facebook.
Further north, Lake George Village will kick off a summer of fireworks shows on Sunday starting at 9:30 p.m. The show will take place at two barges on the southern end of the lake, though it will be visible in the village.
Following that will be a series of 10 fireworks shows, scheduled for Thursday nights starting July 8. The shows are weather permitting. Several of the village’s back streets will be closed to traffic before the show and officials ask that attendees arrive before 7 p.m. and wait an hour after the fireworks to leave to avoid long delays.
“We are excited to be able to do our popular shows again”, said Mayor Rober Blais in a statement, “and hope that everyone uses common sense and respect for others.”
More from The Daily Gazette: